Cotton stems have been so popular for home decor for the last few years, but they can be really pricey. Luckily, you can easily make your own with a few basic supplies. Here’s how to make your own DIY cotton stems!
I’ve always admired the cotton stems that I saw in fall decor on other blogs, but I honestly kind of thought that it wasn’t really a look that I could “pull off” because I’m not from the Deep South. 🙂 Well, over the last few years, it seems like everyone’s been using them no matter where they live, and furthermore, they’re using them all year round. Personally, I’m a fan of this new development and I’m more than happy to jump on board the cotton stem trend train. What’s not to love about something so fun and fluffy, but also natural and rustic at the same time? I thought I’d do a little experiment to try making my own DIY cotton stems recently and today’s post is all about how they turned out!
Supplies for DIY Cotton Stems
The great thing about this project is that, depending on what you have available to you in your yard and in your cupboards, this project can be pretty much free.
- Some twigs or branches
- Cotton balls
- Pine cones
- Hot glue
Just a note about the branches: You want to look for branches that have several smaller branches coming off of the main part of the branch rather than just straight sticks if you can find them. Since I started this project in the middle of summer, I had a hard time finding a lot of sticks around my property so I had to use some straight, bare twigs, but I think I was still able to make it work. Freshly fallen branches that come off during the windy season in spring or in the fall would be perfect for this because those tend to not have all of the smaller branch pieces broken off yet.
How to Make the DIY Cotton Stems
I actually made two different cotton themed projects recently. I’ll show you the other one soon, but this one was definitely the easier of the two, by far. It only took me about 30 minutes to make my cotton stems in total so this was a really fun, instant gratification type of project. Great for a chilly late summer evening! 🙂
I started out by pulling a bunch of the scales off of a pinecone. Any kind of pinecone will probably work for this, but I just used what we have on our property.
Next it was time to start gluing! I took my cotton balls and glued one on to the end of each branch section. If the stem still looked a bit bare, I added an extra cotton ball in somewhere mid-way up the branch. It may look weird as you’re doing this, but it will all work out once you get your stems all together in a bunch. 🙂
When I was happy with my cotton ball placement, I hot glued three to four little pinecone scales to the bottom of each cotton ball. You want the scales to kind of curl up around the bottom of the cotton ball as though they were the outside of a bud that burst open to reveal the cotton.
I completed the steps for a few more twigs, plunked them in this pitcher, and I was done!
I love that you could create a huge bundle of these for a really impactful display in your home in just a little while. Well, as long as you can find the right branches!:)
Have you ever tried to create your own DIY cotton stems? Did you do anything differently than I did?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.